Before beginning work on this week’s discussion forum, please review the link “Doing Discussion Questions Right,” the expanded grading rubric for the forum and any specific instructions for this week’s topic.

By the due date assigned, submit your answers to Part 1 and Part 2 to this Discussion Area.  Start reviewing and responding to your classmates as early in the week as possible.  You should review and critique the work of other students as outlined in the expanded rubric by the end of the week.

Discussion Questions Part 1

Select one of the scenarios listed below and explain the best solution for each.  Include comments related to any ethical issues that arise.  You should locate at least one scholarly source from the SUO Library or one case that has been decided or is currently pending to support your answer.

Scenario 1  – Bribery

Caterpillar, Inc. purchased four diesel engines from a manufacturer in Japan.  The engines were needed immediately as replacements so that the crews could get back to work.  The import manager knew that the engines did not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards, but hoped that the U.S. Customs officers would not inspect the engines.  The customer service manager threatened to call Customs and tell them that he paid their salary and they darn well better release the goods now.  

The Customs officer explained that they were very busy, and it might take more than 24 hours to obtain release of the engines.  When informed of this fact, the import manager offered the customs official $500 to sign off on the documents.

  • Analyze the legal and ethical ramifications of the purchasing manager’s offer to the customs official.
  • Assume that the goods were not being inspected. Would it make a difference if the purchasing manager offered to donate $500 to Ronald McDonald House Charities if the officer expedited the paperwork necessary to release the goods from custom’s custody?

Scenario 2  – Regulation of Competition

A famous comedian indicated on Facebook  that the Apple iPhone was his favorite cell phone. After the comment, sales of iPhones  increased 35 percent. Since demand outpaced supply, Apple decided not to sell any more phones unless an additional tablet was purchased. A competitor informed the Office of the Attorney General of this policy, asserting it was illegal. 

  • Explain the legal basis for the complaint and decide which party will prevail.

Scenario 3  – Antitrust Laws

Omnicon, Inc. and Drummond, Ltd are competitors selling similar lawn equipment in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.  Omnicon and Drummond agree that Omnicon will no longer sell equipment in South Carolina and Georgia and Drummond will no longer sell equipment in Alabama and Florida.

  • Have Omnicon and Drummond violated any antitrust laws?  Explain why or why not.

Part 2 – Federal Administrative Agencies

Select one federal administrative agency and provide a summary of the purpose and types of activities the agency regulates.  Use your own words to summarize the information.  To avoid too many duplicates, students with the last name starting with A through L will select from Column A.  Students with last names starting with M – Z will select from Column B.

Column A

Column B

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Central Intelligence Agency

Federal Aviation Administration

Department of Agriculture

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Department of Commerce

Federal Communications Commission

Department of Defense

Federal Trade Commission

Department of Education

Food and Drug Administration

Department of Homeland Security

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Department of Justice

National Labor Relations Board

Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Customs & Border Protection